For Tutors and Mentors
Thank you for your interest in the Upward Scholars tutoring and mentoring program.
The Upward Scholars tutoring and mentoring program provides an opportunity for community volunteers to work one on one with Upward Scholars students at a time and location that is convenient to the tutor and the student. Tutors help students with their course work, most often intermediate and advanced ESL classes. Mentors provide support for students embarking on new careers.
Below are resources that will help you learn more about these programs and be a more effective tutor or mentor.
Upward Scholars Tutoring and Mentoring Application
To sign up to be an Upward Scholars tutor or mentor, please complete this application.
RSVP for Fall 2018 Tutor Orientation
The Upward Scholars tutor orientations for fall 2018 will take place at the home of Upward Scholars Director Elizabeth Weal, 3481 Janice Way, Palo Alto,. You can choose from these times: Tuesday, August 7th from 10 a.m to noon or Tuesday, August 7th from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. You can RSVP here. (Please complete the RSVP form even if you're unable to attend either session so you can tell us other times you're available to attend an orientation.)
If you need to miss more than one or two tutoring sessions, please contact our coordinator, Tania Ventura. She will try to find a tutor to take your place while you are unavailable.
Important Dates for Summer and Fall 2018 Semester
Important dates for the current semester are here.
Presentations for Tutors
- Tutors as Mentors: A Presentation about Resources that Tutors Can Share with Students
This presentation includes a plethora of resources that tutors can share with their students including legal resources, housing resources, and food-related resources, as well as a description of resources available to students at Cañada College.
- Financial Literacy
This is a concise, entertaining, and information-paced presentation created by Upward Scholars tutor Susan Speicher that tutors can share with students. A Spanish version is available here.
- Effective Tutoring Techniques for Working with Cañada College ESL Students
The password to watch this video is SASStraining. Alternatively, you can view the PowerPoint presentation. Both provide effective tutoring strategies from the perspective of two Cañada College ESL professors.
Upward Scholars Tutoring Orientation Presentation
This PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the Upward Scholars tutoring program along with tips for working effectively with your student. Note that we created this presentation before we changed our name to Upward Scholars.
- Upward Scholars Teaching Grammar Presentation
This PowerPoint presentation provides tips for teaching grammar to ESL students. It is geared for ProjectRead tutors, but may be useful to Upward Scholars tutors as well.
Resources for Tutors
Cañada College: ESL class descriptions
A summary of all ESL classes taught at Cañada College is here in order to get an overview of the classes your student is taking.
Cañada College: ESL class textbooks and handouts
- ESL Writing and Grammar class writing series description (you can purchase individual books in this series on Amazon.com)
- ESL Reading, Listening and Speaking class reading series description (you can purchase individual books in this series on Amazon.com)
Online references about grammar and writing (recommended by Cañada College ESL faculty)
Conversation-related activities to use during your sessions
Online grammar activities (recommended by Cañada College ESL faculty)
Online grammar sites (recommended by Upward Scholars tutors)
- Grammar Bytes: Easy-to-understand explanations of grammar terms with clear examples
- Inglés Mundial: Good explanations in Spanish of selected topics (but not comprehensive)
- The English Page: Extensive collection of online grammar exercises
- English Grammar Online: Extensive collection of online grammar exercises
- Using English: Comprehensive collection of grammar quizzes
- Verb tense summary: Informative summary explaining verb tense uses with examples.
- Simple past, present progressive, present perfect progressive: Excellent PowerPoint for students enrolled in Grammar and Writing III (ESL 923 at Cañada College.
Online resources for help with writing and editing
- Tips for starting the writing process
- Writing clear paragraphs with PIE (Point, Information, Explanation)
- Common writing problems
Online resources to improve reading comprehension
- Previewing before you read
- Learning new vocabulary
- Annotating and marking texts
- Summarizing what you read
Recommended grammar and writing books
The following books are highly recommended by ESL teachers. They can be expensive, so you may want to purchase them used. Upward Scholars can reimburse you for any book you purchase in connection with tutoring.
- Azar, Betty Schrampfer, Basic English Grammar. The first book in the series, it covers most but not all of what is taught in Grammar and Writing 2 at Cañada College. You can purchase either the third or fourth edition. Make sure you get the textbook and not the workbook.
- Azar, Betty Schrampfer, Fundamentals of English Grammar, 3rd or 4th Edition. The second book in the Azar series, it is more advanced than Basic English Grammar. Make sure you get the textbook and not the workbook.
- Raimes, Ann, Grammar Trouble Spots: A Guide for Student Writers. This book helps students identify and correct common grammatical errors.
- Weal, Elizabeth, Writing in English: Step by Step. This is a good review of basic English grammar. Students should be familiar with this material before they enroll in Grammar and Writing 2, the first Cañada College writing class that Upward Scholars students take. (This book is available free for all tutors. Let Elizabeth know if you’d like copies for you and your student.)
Grammar summary cards
Grammar summary cards provide concise summaries of key grammar points. Two that we recommend are English Grammar Fundamentals 1 and English Grammar Fundamentals 2
ESL sites for current events
These sites may be useful if you want to encourage your student to take advantage of online current event sites for ESL students.
- Voice of America News: You might start or end your tutoring session by reading a few captions from The Day in Photos.
- Breaking News English: Leveled reading passages as well as exercises that you can print and give to your student.
- Simple English News: Very short news articles and vocabulary, with video clips.
Listening to podcasts, and then discussing them, is a great way to engage with your student. This site has an excellent selection.
Encouraging Your Student to Read
Reading is an excellent way for ESL students to increase their knowledge of English. If you and your student meet at a library, make sure your student has a library card. Then, help him or her to find appropriate books. If you’re looking for nonfiction, go to the children’s section. For a list of fiction appropriate for most Upward Scholars recipients, check out the list from the ESL Department at City College of San Francisco.
Upward Scholars Tutoring Facebook Group
Meet other tutors and share tutoring issues or questions on the Upward Scholars Tutoring Facebook Group page.
Cañada College: WebSMART
WebSMART is Cañada College’s student information system. Students use it to find their grades, add and drop classes, order a transcript, etc. Students should be familiar with how to use WebSMART. If they’re not, basic instructions are here.
Food Resources Available to Students
Students who live in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties can receive free food. Please enocurage them to call Food Connection at 1-800-984-3663, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, to learn about available food resources (pick up, delivery, meals, etc.).